Mic – I wish I had packed “Seasons of a Man’s Life” into your knapsack. Timely reading for you in Kenya, pre-college, pre-career with time to think deep and meaningful thoughts..
In short there are, based on research, identifiable stages in a man’s life that with awareness, can help you (or any young adult) think through a life plan / vision. This is the crux of the book.Its not rocket science but proven research thats easy to absorb..
While you haven’t read the book, I sense the timing is right to highlight a perspective as you marinate, percolate and ruminate on your business ideas and your life in general.
Specifically, I sense in the case of Cooper – and possibly you, there might be an “either / or” mental model framing how you are looking at things as you build the foundation for personal, professional and profitable success. I think much in life can benefit from the “Power of the And” (a great philosophy developed by the business consultant and author Jim Collins (good to great, built to last).
A blend of both, like mom and me in you or a nice salad with oil & vinegar, might be a more powerful way to think through choices. As in I can either do A or I can do B leads to “but not both”. Why the fuck not?!…why not a blend of both.
While it may have been a throw-away comment, I heard recently Coop frame his career decision as “I can either take the money by working in sales OR do something more meaningful with my life.” Why not both? You’ve got a job you are really good at AND you take some of that money and do good with it. Think the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chinouard
As you’ve heard me say over the years, finding a job that hits the trifecta where you are passionate about it AND a master at it AND create real wealth with it is a long-shot. Not impossible….but a long long shot.
Consider, taking a professionally challenging, profitably rewarding day job, AND then to feed the soul & spirit personally, use some of your earnings to do “good” – volunteer, philanthropic deeds, mentoring, etc.
Example of the college years season (not pushing this plan, just illustrative) – sketching out your next 4 academic years and the respective 3 summers. Over next 4 years you could be a pre-med/business major, playing club soccer and lacrosse and have a start-up based on your idea #4 in your last email. During this time of your life you are focused on your JOB (school), with an eye towards a future career with internships, stay active and healthy w/out the varsity time commitments playing soccer and lax, consult rising HS seniors and their parents for gap years and wind up having a very full and rewarding collegiate career. Maybe as you matriculate, drop one of the sports as junior or senior so you can dive deeper into internships or take summer volunteer trips, either funded in part my Mrs Willen’s Live Like Ally Foundation (good on ya!) and/or earnings from your Gap Year Planning business, book sales, gap year funding site commissions, etc..
The family years season: Like Michael Todd, after an investment of many dollars and years at school, you could, for the next 50-60 years have a rewarding career in medicine (business side, clinical side or a little of both as the years and your interest change and opportunities arise), be there for your kids and wife and community where you live, easily afford to go on exciting trips to do good, not just chill on a beach. Keep Neah home(s) well maintained and the watercraft well oiled! I’m thinking Mrs. Nye’s life relative to the volunteering trips to Haiti.
Customize your world with the power of the AND while keeping in mind the predictable seasons of a man’s life! I love hearing that you are using the time to think the deep and meaningful thoughts about the life life you want to create for yourself and your future family.